We’ve heard this phrase thrown about a great deal “self-care.” But what is self-care really and how does that apply to our mental wellbeing? Self-care is defined as “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health:” That means prioritizing ourselves and putting an effort into maintaining our emotional and mental state. Sometimes it means realizing a situation or person in our lives is not good for our mental health and taking them out of our lives. Jesus actually commands self-care! Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” But I don’t have time for all that! There is work, kids, family, church or school, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all of that done, much less breathe! I hear you. I really do. There are stages of life where the most you can do is get yourself out of bed and go through the required motions of “ being ok” that there is no way there is room for anything else. No matter how vital it may be. But working on that relationship with yourself is vital. It helps you feel more confident, raises your self esteem and when you take that time to mentally refresh you also feel more equipped to take on the challenges of daily life. It makes those daily challenges of getting out of bed, managing your relationships, work, school, and church, so much more manageable and less overwhelming. Ephesians 5:29 states: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…” God actually wants us to take that time for ourselves. You can’t do work, school, kids, LIFE if you’re exhausted and burnt out. Did you know Jesus took time for self-care? He’d leave people waiting! He left towns and did not speak with everyone because He had human needs that He needed to care for. He took time alone to speak with His Father and He took time for His friends. So many things go into self-care. Sometimes we lose focus that we need to take care of our whole selves. Take care of your spirit. Spend time with the Most High. Focus on the plans He has for you and remembering His truth. Take care of your emotions. Do something you LOVE and do it guilt free. Read a book, take a bath, get a massage. Take care of your body. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, move your body throughout the day; See your healthcare provider, the time and money it takes is well worth it. Don’t forget to see your friends. They can encourage you in all these things. Maybe your friends live far away, or they are quarantining. But we live in a marvelous age, utilize technology like Facebook, Skype, Instagram and other apps to help renew your spirit by connecting with friends and family. So many ways to take care of yourself. Make sure you set some time aside to focus on you so that you can live the life you want to live.